LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Zack Wheeler completed his much-anticipated Grapefruit League debut in healthy fashion, but after he exited, Brandon Phillips and Adonis Garcia hit home runs that helped the Braves claim a 5-2 win over the Mets on Friday afternoon at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex.Having missed
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Zack Wheeler completed his much-anticipated Grapefruit League debut in healthy fashion, but after he exited, Brandon Phillips and Adonis Garcia hit home runs that helped the Braves claim a 5-2 win over the Mets on Friday afternoon at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex.
Having missed the past two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery and other arm ailments, Wheeler was happy to get through his two-inning outing in pain-free fashion. The Mets' hurler retired five of the first six batters he faced an then allowed Matt Tuiasosopo's two-out homer in the second. Tuiasosopo's solo shot gave him a home run in three consecutive plate appearances dating back to Thursday.
• Mets' Wheeler strong in first start since '15
After Wheeler allowed one run and two hits, Phillips greeted Marcos Molina with a line drive that stayed just inside the left-field foul pole before clearing the fence. This was the first home run of the spring for the Braves' veteran second baseman, who was acquired from the Reds just before the start of Spring Training.
Garcia's two-run home run highlighted the decisive three-run fifth against Molina, who was charged with four earned runs over 2 1/3 innings.
With R.A. Dickey choosing to pitch in a simulated game instead of showing his knuckleball to a divisional opponent, the Braves provided a start to Lucas Sims, who settled down after allowing the Mets to produce a two-run first inning that included a Michael Conforto double and Dominic Smith's two-out RBI single.
Mets Up Next: Left-hander Steven Matz will make his second spring start when the Mets face the Nationals on Saturday in a 1:10 p.m. ET game at First Data Field on MLB.TV. Matz pitched two scoreless innings in his Grapefruit League debut Monday against the Marlins.
Braves Up Next:Mike Foltynewicz will make his third start of the spring when the Braves play the Cardinals in Jupiter on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. on MLB.TV. Foltynewicz has done nothing to alter the assumption he'll be given the rotation's only available spot. Ozzie Albies will be in the lineup to play just his second game since fracturing his right elbow in September.
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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.